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Routes in Southeast Face

Southern Circus T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b WI5 M6
Type: Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 400 ft, 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: Phil Wortmann and Matt Mckinley, November 2013
Page Views: 706 total, 14/month
Shared By: phil wortmann on Nov 11, 2013
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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I figure with all the crowds cued up on Total Abandon and Blind Assumption most weekends that folks should have an option other than racing each other across the Hero Traverse. This route offers a really fun, though short pitch of ice, followed by a very airy, mixed traverse with good gear. The cruxes are a good deal harder than Total Abandon and Blind Assumption, and the approach is no gimme, but, if you're up for a new adventure, go check 'er out.

P1. Rope up for a short approach pitch around a chockstone. Belay on left at a fixed pin about 20 feet shy of the ice, 40 feet.

P2. Climb steep ice through the chimney, then step left on a hanging curtain (ice crux). Belay at the end of the ice by slinging the big chockstone, 60 feet.

P3. Traverse left across big blocks with bad feet then straight up through a v-slot roof (mixed crux). Belay just above at a pin, or continue higher to a better ledge but minimal gear.

P4/5. Aim left up the ramp, and pick your poison, 5.5-5.8.


Drive past the hero traverse parking spot and park about one mile down from the summit on a sharp turn. This will be the first switchback past the parking for Total Abandon and Blind Assumption.

Cross the highway, and walk down the cog railroad for about 0.5 miles (ish) until you see an obvious saddle on your left. Leave the tracks and cross the saddle, hugging the left side. You will pop over into a steep couloir, marked by a large cave at the top. Follow this most of the way down before cutting left across the spur. Aim for being about 50 feet below the obvious, yellow wall in the middle of the spur. Follow the contour around and keep looking up, the route is in the middle of the big wall above you.

PM if you need clearer directions.


Single rack, 5 or 6 screws, 10 shoulder lengths. I left a couple pins along the way.